Problem gambling in New York – A discussion

The All in the Addicted Gamblers Podcast recently featured Jim Maney and Michelle Hadden from the New York Council on Problem Gambling. The program’s executive director and assistant executive director discussed their backgrounds and how they ended up at the council.

They also spoke about the organization’s evolution over the past 21 years and how it has become more supportive and less stigmatizing towards those who suffer from gambling addiction.

Interview in 30 seconds:

  • The New York Council on Problem Gambling provides individualized, person-centered services to those seeking help for gambling addiction.
  • New York has seen a 46% increase in calls to the state helpline for gambling problems since sports betting became legal, and there is a significant need for more resources to treat and prevent gambling addiction.
  • The normalization of gambling in New York and the lack of attention paid to problem gambling in public discussions concern the speakers, who argue for the need for social impact studies to determine the effects of gambling expansion.

The council’s “People, Purpose, and Passion” campaign was also discussed, focusing on building relationships and involving passionate people in the fight against gambling addiction. Michelle explained that they started the campaign for the entire staff to come together and figure out their message. She said they spend a lot of time focusing on their passion for their work and each other.

For them, it all boils down to the people and the relationships. They want to bring everyone passionate about this issue into the fold as part of their team and partners in the community and professional settings. They want to bring a message of passion and hope and eliminate the stigma of the issue to everyone to get them involved.

The podcast also covered how to get gambling help from the New York Council on Problem Gambling and how callers are directed to the council’s website to find localized phone numbers for assistance. The council offers individualized, person-centered service to problem gamblers seeking gambling support. The goal is to connect them to care and improve their lives.

Overall, the New York Council on Problem Gambling is dedicated to raising awareness about gambling addiction and showing care and concern for those affected.

According to a conversation between Michelle, Jim, and Brian, there has been a 46% increase in calls to the state helpline for gambling problems in New York since sports betting became legal. The gambling hotline number is 1-877-8-HOPENY.

However, Jim and Michelle believe that the state is under-resourced to deal with this increase in calls. There is a significant need for more resources, particularly infrastructure, to treat and prevent gambling addiction in New York. They call for the creation of standalone gambling-only inpatient and residential services—a dedicated helpline and network of peers in recovery to assist those struggling with addiction. There is also a need for prevention programs in schools and communities.

The interviewees also criticize the lack of public awareness and counter-advertising to combat the heavy industry advertising of gambling in the state. Additionally, there have been some customer service-based calls to the helpline from irate industry operatives. The team believes that these individuals will find the right resources eventually.

Overall, there is a concern that the state is not doing enough to address the growing problem of gambling addiction in New York.

The discussion then revolves around the potential for a new $4 billion casino to be built in Manhattan and the need for a social impact study to be conducted beforehand to assess the effects on gambling addiction and other problems.

The speakers expressed concern about the normalization of gambling and the lack of attention paid to problem gambling in public discussions. They argue that social impact studies are necessary to determine the impact of gambling expansion, especially in a city like New York, which already has high rates of gambling problems.

Jim and Michelle also note that the National Council on Problem Gambling is neutral on gambling, focusing instead on raising awareness of gambling addiction and helping those in need. They acknowledge the difficulties of working with limited resources but emphasize the importance of passion and love for the work in overcoming these challenges.

In the podcast, Jim, Michelle, and Brian discuss problem gambling prevention efforts and the upcoming virtual conference hosted by the New York Council on Problem Gambling. The conversation highlights the importance of environmental prevention efforts and safeguards to protect individuals from excessive gambling.

The conference, which is scheduled for March 9th and 10th, 2023, will include the following:

  • Discussion on gambling and suicide,
  • Special sessions
  • A rally aimed at raising awareness and energy around problem gambling awareness month.

Jim and Michelle emphasize the importance of screening for gambling disorders and getting people connected to care early on to prevent gambling problems from escalating.

The conversation also touches on the passion of the staff at the New York Council on Problem Gambling and their belief in the importance of giving employees ownership and creativity in their work.

The discussion ends on a positive note, with Jim expressing his confidence in the council’s ability to combat problem gambling with the help of their allies.


Overall, the episode provides an insightful and informative look into the work of the New York Council on Problem Gambling and the challenges faced in addressing problem gambling in the state.

It highlights the need for increased resources and public awareness to combat the growing problem, particularly with the legalization of sports betting and the potential for new casinos in the state.

The dedication and passion of the council’s staff are apparent throughout the episode, and their efforts to connect those in need with care and support are commendable.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in learning more about problem gambling and the work of the New York Council on Problem Gambling. It provides a wealth of information on the issue and the organization’s efforts to combat it, highlighting the challenges faced and the need for continued support and resources.


How can a person with gambling problems get help in New York?

The best way to get help is to reach out through the New York Problem Gambling HelpLine website. The website will provide a place where people can find their localized number for help, and they can get directly to the appropriate regional center because seven of those across the state, with 11 phone numbers and 11 excellent people answering the phones and able to assist at all times.

Why are organizations like the National Council on Problem Gambling neutral on the issue of gambling?

That neutrality allows them to focus on what they are good at, raising awareness of problem gambling and getting help for people who need it rather than being policymakers. Michelle added that they are against underage gambling because the part of the brain required for good judgment is not fully developed until much later in life.
Jim further clarified that they are not taking a stand for or against gambling, but they are aware of the damages that can result from gambling. They believe that problem gambling needs to be included in every discussion on gambling expansion. They also talked about the importance of conducting social impact studies to determine the potential negative consequences of gambling before expanding it.

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